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Interview with Jacob Schilling (JS)

Bowdle, South Dakota

Conducted by Betty Maier (BM)
6 August, 1998, Bowdle, South Dakota

Transcription by Acacia Jonas
Editing and proofreading by Jane Trygg


BM: It’s a pleasure to have with us today, Jacob Schilling and we are in Bowdle, South Dakota. We brought with us some of his relatives from Wishek, North Dakota. The two ladies that are with us; one is Ida Meidinger and her maiden name was Schilling and Christina Otmar and she was a Schilling. The two ladies are sisters and both live in Wishek. They came with us today to do the interview with Jacob. The first thing we are going to ask is your name, birth date and where you were born.

JS: Do I have to answer that?

BM: Yep.

JS: I was born about 16 miles southwest of Wishek, North Dakota on my folks’ first homestead, September 8, 1901.

BM: What were your mother and father’s names?

JS: Johann and Rosina and her maiden name was Kessler.

BM: They homesteaded near Wishek?

JS: Near Wishek. Yeah.

BM: You said your father was born where?

JS: Gluckstel 18

BM: And your mother?

JS: Also in Gluckstel 20

BM: So do you know when they came from Germany?

JS: Yeah...no, no. They were born in Russia.

BM: Both your parents died and where are they buried?

JS: In Hosmer, South Dakota.

BM: In what cemetery?

JS: St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery. Wait a minute that’s ours. I think 26

BM: The Hosmer Lutheran Cemetery?

JS: Hosmer Lutheran Cemetery...make it that way.

BM: Do you remember when your father was born?

JS: December 8, 1872.

BM: Do you remember when your mother was born?

JS: June 18, 1873.

BM: How many brothers and sisters did you have?

JS: I have got five sisters and two brothers. They are all gone except one, Maggie is still living. That is the picture up there.

BM: Can you name them; from the oldest?

JS: The two oldest ones died in infancy. I knew how they died but I just can’t remember; it was in just a few days that they died. It was Rosina on August, date I don’t know. The next was Katarina and she was born February 12, 1900, the same as my wife except my wife was ten years younger.

BM: And the next one after Rosina was you?

JS: Yep, I was born September 8, 1901. Then Christina was born May 2, 1900. Magdalena was born September 15, 1907. Rosina was the youngest; she was born on December 8, 1910.

BM: Is Rosina still living?

JS: No.

BM: Which one is living yet?

JS: See the oldest was Rosina being she died so early then they also named the youngest one Rosina, again.

IM or CO: Magdalena is still living.

JS: She’s in the nursing home.

BM: How old is she now, Christina.

JS: She’s in a wheel chair.

BM: No, how old is she?

JS: Oh how old? She is born 1907; she is just six years and a week younger than I am.

BM: So she is almost 90 years old then?

JS: Six years. She’s younger.

BM: Do you remember what year your parents came to America?

BM: What year?

JS: May 12, 1898 they came to Eureka.

BM: How did they get over here from Russia? Did they come on a ship?

JS: They came from horse and wagon up to the railroad town there 67. From there they went on train up to the German border. First in Russia then in Germany to that German sea port.

BM: Bremerton? No.

IM or CO: 71

BM: That’s all right. We’ll ad that later if we find out or you remember.

JS: Humberg, Germany from there they went to New York.

BM: Then from New York they came by rail?

JS: Train, yeah. Now can I put a funny thing in?

BM: You go ahead.

JS: When they asked where they wanted to go in the English language they said, “The higher 77, then they went. Then the German guy came and said well what do you mean 77-80.

BM: And that was the end of the train life.

JS: And then the Gott’s, Aunt and Uncle Joseph Gott, picked them up there. Then they were around here all there lives. Of course from North Dakota down to South Dakota and then over to Hosmer in the retirement. Mother passed away in the Aberdeen hospital. My youngest sister lived in Aberdeen and she was with her the few weeks or so. Then they put her in a hospital and there she passed away. She’s buried in the Hosmer Lutheran Cemetery.

BM: Do you remember what year she died?

JS: 1980.

BM: And your father, when did he die?

JS: April 1, 1938.

BM: So he died quite a bit earlier and she was a widow for quite a well.

JS: Yes, for quite awhile.

BM: Do you remember anything as a child....

JS: Childhood? Well the first thing I remember was in South Dakota, I can’t remember anything from North Dakota.

BM: How old were you?

JS: Well it was in the fall of 1903 when they moved down here. 98-99. Then they sold out. So he sold that homestead to Mr. Kasman 100 and a fellow named Sprenger. There was nothing on it but an old dilapidated barn and house built out of sod. That was full of bed bugs. My dad was a very particular 106. Then in the spring, Christina was born in 1904 then we started making an adobe house. Do you know what adobe is?

BM: Yes.

JS: We made it, me, my dad and mother. We made blocks that year.

BM: Bricks.

JS: Yeah, mud bricks. 111

BM: Do you remember how they made those mud bricks?

JS: You bet. They were made; I was just a little nut, so my dad, two horses and I mixed the mud. One of us pumped the water at that kind of way with two wooden buckets and a roll on top. The cellar valve beside and a great mud hole beside it; she bucketed water out and dumped it in there. When me, my dad and the two horses went around trimmed that mud up and there was some straw mixed in for fiber to hold the blocks together. 120 So we mixed out and put it on a pile so it kind of sticky for a few days. Then they took them and put them in these molds. Molds that were 12 inches wide and 24 inches long and about 6 inches this way. 125 They were so darn heavy. They put up the house. Well that was that, and it was up there until 1909. Then my dad was not satisfied we had one quarter of land way down about 2 miles and we had some other relative up in Glen Ulin, North Dakota, Schillings, also cousins to my dad. They communicated to each other by letters. Up in Glen Ulin they got 135 and that kind of interested my dad. He was going to intentionally go up there selling this. When he told that to Uncle Gobb and Aunt Christina, sister and brother-in-law, they didn’t want him to leave here. They made him a deal to trade some land to a different farm, so we got closer to this other that we already discussed. I still have that piece of land. So we made a trade and we moved a mile southeast where I still have the land. So we went along and as time goes.

BM: Built a house?

JS: Down on the other farm he built a house. The house in 1913 and the barn in 1922.

BM: What year is that tractor?

JS: That was a 150 and I think I bought it in 1920. The truck I bought it before, it was a Ford truck. That windmill back there is a power windmill that’s one to grind feed. This one up in front is the pumper and the well. The well is 252 feet deep.

BM: Wow, you had to go along ways.

JS: Yeah, we had shallow water but it was quick sand 155. Soapstone it was about 6 feet 6 and under this was blue clay. If you get on that stuff you couldn’t stand on it you would go right on through it. Some called it chalkstone. When it got out in the air it dried like lye, but when it’s wet it’s just like quicksand.

Man: How big was the adobe house that you built up there?

JS: Two rooms, kitchen and front room. 163 The front room had a wooden floor put in. The other room, the kitchen, was clay.

BM: Just dirt.

JS: Clay, it was a mixture of yellow clay and sand. Instead of wiping it or scrubbing it 170

BM: They smeared it until it was smooth and hard again.

Man: Now how many children lived in that two room house?

JS: I, Christian and Magdalena was born there in 1907 and in 1909 we moved down to this farm.

IM or CO: 174-176

JS: I stayed on it and moved.

IM or CO: None of your brothers wanted to farm, you were the only one.

BM: Do you remember what section that is.

JS: Section 7 the northeast corner of section 7 12473.

BM: Thank you. That document, the exact location and the exact farm I sort of like that.

JS: That out there 181-183. I was born in McIntosh County, but where Howard Kasman lives.

IM or CO: South of Howard’s place. Howard lives a little ways this way from where you lived.

JS: Ya, I was on the hill in an adobe rock house where I was born. It was made out of mud and stone. Native North Dakota rocks there, it was that house where I was born.

BM: That’s alright it’s documented by homestead. Now, when did you get married and who did you marry?

JS: I got married September 4, 1927 to Lydia Martel also called Eisenbeis because they raised her. She was adopted by them in 1916 and she was raised by them until I got her. She was a little young yet but I was alone and I needed somebody.

BM: So she was raised and adopted by.....

JS: Jacob H. Eisenbeis. She was born October 12, 1910 and my second oldest sister was born February 12, 1910.

BM: I don’t know how you can remember all those dates. Did you have a family?

JS: Ya, I had three boys. Two boys left.

BM: What were there names?

JS: Cornelius was the oldest, Roland was the second he passed away many years ago, and Arnold is the youngest he’s 57 teaching school all his life in 209

BM: What does your oldest son do?

JS: He’s kind of retired and he’s got a shop he’s running, selling chainsaws and garden equipment. He calls it a small engine shop.

BM: Where does he live?

JS: In Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

BM: He’s a ways away from you then.

JS: Ya, Ya, 1100 miles.

IM or CO: In Lehr your wife was born.

JS: Ya, see that’s when they came over they first settled 219, but John 219-221 and then from here they went to Lehr, North Dakota and there they homesteaded. That’s were my wife was born and her twin brother, Gus Martel, from Bismarck. That’s my brother-in law.

Man: So they homesteaded in the Lehr, North Dakota area.

JS: Ya, my wife’s folks.

BM: Do you recall if your parents received letters from Russia.

JS: Yes, oh yes, quite regular. See there was still my mother’s relation, brother and folks were over there 1911 and then they came over. There was always continuous letters. They had this 233 newspaper called 234 and that was very precious. They had those articles called correspondence.

BM: So kept up through that then.

JS: Yeah they put them in the paper so the rest of the people could read them. They kept continuous contact through mail.

BM: Did they get homesick after they moved here.

JS: My father said if I could afford it but he only had $35 left. He would have turned around and went back, but he had no more money.

BM: So they had to stay here.

JS: Ya, had to stay. After he had came over 246-249 he didn’t like it there he wanted to go farther west to Glen Ulin 252. So there is another story when they came over here. There were three cousins; George Schilling Sr. he already had many children, then Christian Schilling 257 and so they went around here but it was all taken up so they went down to the hills to 261. There was a funny story. Old lady George Schilling had many children, when they found a decent place they were first because they were oldest. Then she always told us that the son 268-269. Then there was Christoph the next oldest and my dad was always pushed to the side to the tail end. Then my dad got disgusted and went home and told Uncle Joseph what they did and that he’s not satisfied the way this is run. He had his horses to go down there and 274. Then Joseph said “I tell you what 275, he wants to go out west and sell his claim. So lets go up there and see if you like it. It takes $135 for 280 and if you like it you pay that and you have a place. The heck with them.” So they went up there and he liked it and liked the neighbors. He bought it or gave them part of the release and they moved up there on the farm. He they had hired out to the Gobb’s for 286 Kessler, laborers and then of course Gobb’s gave them the horses to find a place. There was nothing out here. There was a piece out here about 6 miles and was nothing but a big hill and a water hole. So down there was there land to pick up. That’s why I got up there. My first sister was born here in August. Then they went up there in 1900 and my other sister was born February 12. In 1910 my wife was born in Lehr, North Dakota.

BM: So you have spoken German all your life?

JS: I spoke German till 1943 all my life, ya. Dumb as a goose. See this place out here was in the corner of the county. I got very little schooling. Then the house was all German all the time. Surrounding neighbors on the other side was the Catholic people that spoke 307-309. To the north was the Lutherans. See there was some kind of missionaries from different denominations coming through there. So first of all Lutherans and Catholics. 315-319. There were very few Lutherans and Catholics left. My children are Cathlolics, Mennonites, Presbyterian, and Baptists. None of them got my religion.

BM: Do they speak German?

JS: They all speak American.

BM: They all speak English.

JS: All English, ya.

BM: They don’t speak any German?

JS: There was one girl from my grandchildren that took up the real German in school.

BM: But your sons didn’t speak it?

JS: No, 328-330 What was the question?

BM: Did your sons learn to speak German in your home from you and your wife?

JS: Not even to us. When we moved in here. 334-339 We started talking English and if we got stuck we talked German again. The question was what I spoke.

BM: Yes.

JS: I spoke German at Swedish German all my life until I moved here in 1943 and there for awhile.

BM: Did your wife speak the same dialect?

JS: Same dialect. She was adopted by Eisenbeis’ and they were from the same village and we spoke the same language. When we got married until we got here. I just told you the story about our youngest kid. Then when he went to school about a few weeks then he never spoke a word German anymore. Up to this day when he comes and visits he speaks English. His wife was part German part Scandinavian. I think it was Norwegian or Swede, I don’t know, but one her native countries speak the English language fluently and so do their children. Arnold’s oldest girl or oldest boy’s wife took up German in school and then said it’s unnecessary because no one talks it so what’s the use. She took German, the real German, in school.

BM: Can you say something in German like a prayer or table grace or something like that to put on the tape?

JS: My father’s prayer and my prayer was 368-370. That was in German in English it is: Come Lord Jesus be our guest and let this food to us be blest. Thanks to the Lord for his good and his mercy forever. That’s the prayer we have in our church now. See I belong to this church up there, the Wisconsin Synod, but I grew up in the 375 Synod; The Lutheran German, all German. No here have an English language we speak and preach.

BM: When did they switch from German to English in the church services?

JS: There’s another story coming. We had German, I was baptized German, confirmed German, and I was married German all in the 383 Synod. Then when the First World War came, you probably know about that, we didn’t dare talk nor have German churches. Later on, all of a sudden they got a spree and they wanted to be German. My oldest son is confirmed in German and English. Here were some English people and they wanted an English church. Well they hee-haa’d around and I was a deacon. I told some of the older fellas, “We should start English.” You know what some of the older fellas said, 400. Do you understand that? 401-473

BM: So did they finally go into the English language then?

JS: Ya, they were in the English language. In the 477 not it’s the American Senate, they always change. So I went over and 479-481. The next day the Pastor from over there came over here and said we’ll take you in. So next Sunday I went up there. Within a week I was a member there. I was glad because there were three Lutheran Churches in town.

BM: There are three Lutheran churches in Bowdle?

JS: Ya and none of them are worth anything. So they took me in and within a year they put me in as a Deacon for a year. I had to be Deacon for the Germans. I was Deacon until all the Germans were gone. Now I am a member of the Wisconsin Synod.

BM: Is there still three Lutheran churches?

JS: No, this was years ago. Until 499-504

BM: So there is only one Lutheran church here?

JS: Three.

Ladies: Still.

JS: They all speak the English language.

BM: But there is still three here in Bowdle?

JS: Ya.

BM: I don’t know how they can financially survive?

JS: That’s pretty tough. Then we had German and I was Deacon for 12 years in succession. I was only to be 2 years then they put me in for 3 years. 518 after she passed away then there was a 520-532.

BM: Chris did you have a question?

Chris: Yeah before we get to far away from the schools. When you started school how old were you?

JS: About eight years. 537-544. The next year I went up there for a few months at that time. I think when spring came I had to stay home and work. 549-555 END OF SIDE 1

SIDE TWO

JS: B000-B009. After the corn and everything was done, my dad had the idea I should go the Eureka College. They had a nine month school term. We got up there and the lowest was seventh grade and then from there it was kind of semi-high school or something like that. So I couldn’t talk, all I could read was a little primary. I had good people there. I had a teacher there a middle-aged lady, I’d say. B013. She was a crippled lady but a very nice person. So I had to write articles and so on and so forth. I done what I could but couldn’t B016-B018. She explained everything in English and German to me and started me out. Also, our teacher was English and never spoke German but was very kind to me. By God, I made the seventh grade, but when spring comes along B-021

Chris: Where was this college at?

JS: Eureka College. It’s vacant now. It used to be a nursing home. B023-B024 It was built as a German Lutheran College. You should know about it.

Ladies: Ya. I remember it. Ya.

JS: B025-B027.

Chris: Now you said someplace earlier that you went to an auto mechanic school in Aberdeen?

JS: Ya, I was 25 years old already.

Ladies: After he had gone to college.

JS: See when I was 21 years old, my sisters got married and I stayed at home. My dad gave me ¼ share of the crop, the grain crop, wheat, hogs and cattle or whatever was sold. I got a ¼ share of the cash crop and saved a little money. The first thing I wanted was Ford truck. See I was going to buy me a car, but my dad said buy a truck and you can always have the car. Just tell us and you can have the car when you want it. I bought a truck.

Chris: That was 19....

JS: That was in nineteen hundred and...well I was 21 years I got the ¼ share of the crop. The first year I bought the Ford truck for $600-$700. The next year I bought a Ford tractor because I was intending to farm. Then later on I had a notion that I should know something about this machinery. First thing I wanted to be when I was a child was a blacksmith. I didn’t like farming or animals. I was more of mechanic than animal man. So that’s what that was. Then when I was old enough and had a little money of my own, that was around 1925 I think, I went to Aberdeen for 12 weeks for mechanical school. I took up mechanics, welding and so on. Then I went home and worked on the farm again. Then my sweetheart got old enough to give hands. On September 4, 1927 we got married. Then we spoke German all the time. She was just a neighbor and we grew up together.

BM: Can you spell her last name for me?

JS: Martel?

BM: No her other one, her give name?

JS: E-I-S-B

BM: Christine can you help us?

CO: E-I-S-E-N-B-I-E-S

JS: B067-B069

CO: Where you living in Hosmer at the time you got married?

JS: No at home.

CO: You were living on the farm. Was it near Hosmer?

JS: Nine miles north and Two miles west from here

CO: Your sweetheart lived down here too, then? She was from Lehr before.

JS: She was born in Lehr. In March 1916 Eisenbies had no children.

CO: She was born in Lehr and then moved down here?

JS: Ya, as I told you before when they came over they always went to some relatives. See Fred the oldest brother was born here seven miles west of Hosmer or about a half mile east of Eureka B080. There was some trees there and a little ways over there was a little farm B081-B082 That’s the where the oldest, my father-in-law Fred, was born. Fred and my sister Maggie were baptized one Sunday. Then they moved up to North Dakota. They went up there to Lehr to where the twins, Lydia and Gustav, were born. His name was different. They were born February 12, 1910 and the mother died in the fall. B089-B093 Then there was Amelia, who was younger than the twins, and Emily, her name was Magdalene before her mother passed away. Then there was Ted, who’s name was Henry at home. See Mrs. Sandmar and my mother-in-law were sisters, Wahls. So she took care of them children and that Christ Sandmar, always called shorty, were childless. So the sister took care of her sister’s youngest babies. So the Sandmar’s adopted them and baptized them. He’s a Martel. Then B106-B113. Gust, twin brother, is still living in Bismarck. He took them both down and B114-B116. Ya, that’s they way it happened.

BM: hmm.

JS: Gust wasn’t adopted and was kind of homeless. Frank Ost adopted him and already had a full family. Then he married a neighbor girl over to the west, a Jundt.
The interviewee has requested to delete or erase a part of this recording.

BM: Did you dance?

JS: B149-150

BM: Did you have barn dances or anything like that?

JS: Occasionally.

BM: When you were growing up do you remember any particular games that you played?

JS: Baseball. We had a baseball team there. I was too young it was all the older ones. After I grew up there was not enough interest anymore.

Chris: How did you travel in your younger days? Did you have your own saddle horse?

JS: No, my dad didn’t believe in those things in those days. I had a saddle that I could use. When I got old enough I used the car.

Chris: What kind of animals did you have on your farm?

JS: We were mostly grain farmers, we had cattle and hogs. We had tough luck one year in Cholera was so bad. B164-B166

Chris: Now did your parents raise any sheep?

JS: A few. I raised a few more when I was for myself.

Chris: When did you say you bought your first tractor?

JS: That was about 1922-23.

Chris: Up in till that time you were farming with horses?

JS: We had 16 horses, three four horse teams. When I was for myself I had six horses to start with and that Ford tractor. My dad had a Titan tractor. I broke almost a quarter of land with that tractor. Years ago people always went around with hand plows to sloughs and so. I remember B184-B187. When we went over there he took me along, because I was the oldest boy. I walked along the B189, I done that just for curiosity and it worked pretty well. I knew I was tired and was a mile and a half from the farm. A mile and a half from this farm northeast. B195-B201

Chris: How long did it take you to break those 80 acres?

JS: Oh boy, three years.

Chris: Three years.

JS: B203-B204 I think we worked on that three years, three springs.

Chris: What was the first crop you put in the new sod?

JS: Flax, always flax. The next year we’d disk it pretty good and put it in wheat. B208-B211

Chris: Did your mother have a big garden?

JS: Oh ya, B212

Chris: When you broke new land and things like that did you always have a B214?

JS: A what?

Lady: B214-215

JS: Oh, B215-B219

Chris: What did you raise in that B221?

JS: B221, Oh mostly B222-B233

Chris: How big did your watermelons grow?

Ladies: Did you eat those?

Ladies: Oh ya.

JS: See the B234 had to be cooked, they were most like the pumpkins and squash and stuff.

Chris: Did your watermelons grow 15-20 lbs?

JS: They got about so.

Chris: The size of a basketball or bigger?

JS: Not by us here.

Lady: They were just good to pickle.

JS: Ya.

Lady: B239

JS: Ya, not like the ones we got in the store here. Not quite that big.

JS: B241

Lady: They were better watermelons when they were put in a barrel and pickled.

JS: B244, How do they stay that in English?

Chris: Canning.

JS: Or putting up.

Lady: Pickling.

JS: Pickling, that’s the English word.

Chris: Now did your mother also make sauerkraut?

JS: Oh, you bet!

Ladies: (Giggling.)

JS: B247-B252

Chris: What did your mother prepare for meat?

JS: Well we butchered about four two hundred pigs when our family was together.

BM: Did you make your own sausage?

JS: B257

Lady: Did you make your own sausage?

JS: Oh sausage. Oh ya, ya.

Lady: B258

Lady: Did you make B259, too?

JS: They made it once and sold it to us.

Ladies: (Giggling).

JS: Our folks, they didn’t like it themselves and we didn’t like it or whatever.

Chris: B263-B265 did your parents ever butcher beef?

JS: Ya. There was a deal between us, Gotts, and my uncle Fred Schilling that butchered a pig and beef and then divided it up. One year B268-B269. Later on when the families got bigger then each one butchered a smaller B272. See when there was B273. But later on that was no popular any more so each one butchered a smaller one.

Chris: Now you were saying that you butchered about four, two hundred pound hogs every year and that was just for your family.

JS: Ya.

Chris: Now did you butcher them all at one time or how did you butcher them?

JS: Ya. They were mostly not so much meat as for fat. B281 and then some other trimmings that was fried or B283.

BM: How did you use that fat then? Did you make soap?

JS: Some of it. See there was everything from the intestines fat and there some kind of B288 that was used for soap, ya. They made their own soap. The good fat where they ate lard, B291-B294. Sometimes after the family got smaller after B294-B295. We ourselves, my family, butchered two.

Chris: Did your mother do a lot of canning of chickens and pork? Was that all canned or was a lot of it salted?

JS: Ya, in the early days. Towards later days it was all canned most of it. See in the olden days a lot of it got old and stale and the dogs wouldn’t touch some of it that was left. The later years a lot of canning was done. We ate it my Lydia and I and did all canning. I think towards last we didn’t even salt it any. Years ago my dad did salt it every single time.

Lady: And how in the granaries in the summertime you went out and cut a piece off and went in and cooked it.

JS: It was salted and then it was taken out and smoked. Then it was like you said.

Chris: What kind of wood did you use to smoke your meat with?

JS: In the early days on the either farm I don’t know, but on this farmstead there was some B316 from the house east. We put a wood frame around the chimney and smoked it through the one stove. See there was a heating stove in the build with wood. It went out through the chimney and there it served as a smoking.

Lady: But you used wood.

JS: Wood and B323. No B234.

Chris: Corncobs.

JS: Corncobs and wood, ya for smoking. We used to make a lot of fuel in there too. B326-B328.

Chris: Now we’re taking about B328 for heating fuel. Did you prepare that in anyway or did you go and pick it out of the pastures?

JS: That was B331-B33. That was prepared and was a job and a half.

Chris: Ok, how did you do that?

JS: We put it in wind rolls. See it was the horse manure and the cow manure. You know how that is naturally. In the spring when the raining weather came along we forked that over and put a B337-B338. So we put it out and spread a layer B341. Then they put six or eight horses on there and they went around and around and around. Maybe you know about it don’t you?

Chris: Oh ya, I know about it.

JS: Done it too?

BM: So when the horses went around and around it mixed it?

JS: To mix it ya. See as I said. The horse manure didn’t make any good B248 so they got mixed up and we spread these wind rolls. See in the winter time we hauled it out in wind rolls. Then in the spring when it thaws up and the rain came along then we forked it over into a B352.

BM: Then after the horses got done walking over it what was the next step?

JS: We waited until it was nice firm. Then the next step we spread it out.

Lady: No, no, no. First you put on the B355.

JS: Some, we didn’t have any.

Ladies: Oh you didn’t have any?

JS: We kept all the horses on there until it was like that.

Ladies: We used the B356-B363

JS: B363-B368

Chris: And that was what called Russian lignite.

JS: That or the Russian lignite or B371-B375

BM: I just have a couple more questions that I want to close with. What member of the family do you remember the best? Do you have a person in the family that you remembered?

JS: You mean that we were close to? That was Maggie we were the closest. As she grew up she was mostly outside. Christina was the cook in the house with mother.

BM: And Maggie was outside.

JS: She was the tomboy. She could ride. I remember one time when we got caught in the hail storm and we went out on the horses. Each one was out and had four horses. I was eating and she was drinking. So all of a sudden the great big was down and the quarter that was right behind the hill was a nice flat piece. I put flax in there. She was on front of me. All of a sudden on the hill a cloud came over, so I hollered to her to unhitch we have to get home. We unhitched and our horses were trained in riding. We barely got home and there was a hail storm. The folks were in Bowdle doing shopping like years ago. Everything was knocked down. Flax was used in the early days. Ya, we always worked in the field. Christina never worked in the field. She was in the house until she married.

BM: So people who impacted in your life. Who did the disciplining in your home? Was it your mother or your father when you needed to be corrected?

JS: B415-B419. I was kind of mean with animals. He several times gave me a good licking. The other story years ago being you grew up on a farm. The chickens were out. You know how. Then there were rotten eggs. After the time was over, the scene was over; we went back there and went right B432. She gave it to me to throw it against that stone. I could tell how they were rotten B436. See some years they had more and some years they had less. That year B439-B447. Then I went in the chicken coop and that old sod house I told you about. Dad made that into a chicken coop when we had that new one done. So I was about eight or nine years old. I wasn’t satisfied with this because it was too much fun. So I went to the chicken coop and took them out of the nest and through them into the center of the chicken coop. In the evening when mother went and got her eggs, see that was her income for groceries, she came out and there was all that gook. She knew what happened so my mother took off and took off for the hill. B459-B464. At ninety seven years old I still remember that. I was a boy at that time.

Chris: That will teach you to break eggs, huh?

JS: Ya.

BM: Well is there something else that you’d like to talk about; Ida, Christine. Jake is there something that we have missed that you’d like to..?

Chris: How did you celebrate Christmas?

JS: Oh about the same as still today. We recited and memorized bible verses. Christmas Eve B476-B482.

Chris: Now that you are retired what kind of hobbies do you have? You’re saying your 90+ years old, what have you.....

JS: I have B485

Chris: Did you ever make these iron crosses for the cemeteries?

JS: No, B491 I have seen them made and there were some in our cemetery. There were some in the catholic cemetery.

Chris: But you never made any?

JS: No, I never made any of them. I mostly did in the spring time welding of broken parts. The spring work B500-B509. I wasn’t so good then I practiced it on the farm. Here there was not much B513. Whatever came along. I worked for $60 a month and B517. Then another guy came along and offered me $160, I worked cheap. I went in there for learning the trade. He also wanted to sell me the shop but I didn’t want to buy it, because the farmers started doing the welding themselves and the plows came with throw a way blades. Then all there was section work and transforms. I didn’t trust myself so I didn’t buy it. Then he sold it to another fella, he retired. It was John Ost; it was the son to this Ost that had my brother-in-law adopted.

BM: Do you have an electric welder here or do you have another one?

JS: Ya, I had an electric welder. I built some B539. I took a little International tractor and took that around and put haystacks around.

Chris: We’ll finish up here. What do you plan on doing for the next forty years?

JS: I only have three left. I don’t know what the good Lord is going to do with me. Whether he puts me in a good place or bad.

Chris: Well it has been a pleasure talking to you folks and I’ll let Betty close with her comments.

BM: I don’t have any more comments, but I sure really appreciate the interview. It had gone one two hours.

JS: We could up and have supper together.


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